Ethane Detection (C2H6)

Application areas of laser-based ethane detection

nanoplus lasers for carbon dioxide detection are used for various applications including:

  • Environment: Emission control
  • Health: Breath gas analysis

Tunable diode laser spectroscopy allows measuring C2H6 with up to ppb precision in real time and in situ. Providing long-term stability and requiring little maintenance, nanoplus lasers are suitable for operation in harsh environments.

Standard wavelengths for ethane detection

nanoplus offers various wavelengths to target the vibrational-rotational bands of ethane. Literature recommends the following wavelengths for ethane detection:

Select your wavelength for ethane detection

Above wavelengths as well as further customized wavelengths for HCL detection are available from nanoplus.

When you choose your wavelength, you have to consider your product set up, environment and nature of the measurement.

These factors influence the optimum wavelength for your application. Do have a look at the Hitran Database to further evaluate your choice of wavelengths. Our application experts are equally happy to discuss with you the most suitable wavelength for your application.

Let us know the wavelength you require with an accuracy of 0.1 nm!

Figure 1: Absorption features of ethane in the 0.76 µm to 6.0 µm range
Absorption features of ethane in 760 nm to 6000 nm range

Related information for laser-based ethane detection

Specifications & Mountings


Papers & Links

The following tables analyse the typical specifications of the standard wavelengths for C2H6 detection.

electro-optical properties of
1640.0 nm DFB laser diode
standard wavelengthλnm1640.0
absorption line strengthScm / mol∼ 1 x 10-23
output powerpoutmW5710
threshold currentlthmA102030
current tuning coefficientcTnm / mA0.0080.0150.02
temperature tuning coefficientcInm / K0.070.10.14
mode hop free tuning rangeΔλnm+/- 0.5+/- 0.7+/- 1
electro-optical properties of
3360.0 nm DFB interband cascade laser
standard wavelengthλnm3360.0
absorption line strengthScm / mol∼ 3 x 10-20
output powerpoutmW> 1
threshold currentlthmA50
current tuning coefficientcTnm / mA0.2
temperature tuning coefficientcInm / K0.3
mode hop free tuning rangeΔλnm+/- 0.5
mounting options /
technical drawings
wavelengthTECcap with windowAR cap with AR windowfiberheatsinkcollimation
TO5.6 760 nm - 3000 nmNANANANANA
TO5 760 nm - 3000 nmNANA
TO663000 nm - 6000 nmNANA
c-mount 760 nm - 3000 nmNANANANANANA
SM-BTF760 nm - 2360 nmNANAsingle modeNANA
PM-BTF1064 nm - 2050 nmNANApolarization maintainingNANA

Ask for further packages.

Please find below a number of application samples.

Emission control of greenhouse gases:
Ethane is an important greenhouse gas that has a critical impact on climate change. Emissions are related to fossil fuel and biofuel consumption, biomass combustion and natural gas losses. Trace gas detection of ethane is an important tool to monitor greenhouse gases. [10]

Emission control by methane source identification:
Ethane is a by-product of methane emissions. The ethane ratio varies between methane emissions from thermogenic and biogenic sources. This allows differentiating oil and gas reserves from those of livestock, landfills, wetlands or stagnant water. Studies are executed on behalf of the US Environmental Protection Agency to quantify methane emissions caused byincreased natural gas exploration and production in the US. A newly developed ethane spectrometer delivers 1 second ethane measurements with sub-ppb precision in an ethane-methane mixture. [61]

Monitoring of breath gas:
Medical breath analysis considers ethane and acetylene as a biomarkers for asthma, schizophrenia or lung cancer. The research field of breath analysis uses methane as a biomarker for intestinal problems. [10]

Please find below a selection of related papers from our literature list.

Let us know if you published a paper with our lasers. We will be happy to include it in our literature list.

#9 DFB Lasers Between 760 nm and 16 µm for Sensing Applications;
W. Zeller, L. Naehle, P. Fuchs, F. Gerschuetz, L. Hildebrandt, J. Koeth, Sensors 2010, 10, pp. 2492-2510.

#10 Continuous wave, distributed feedback diode laser based sensor for trace-gas detection of ethane;
K. Krzempek, R. Lewicki, L. Naehle, M. Fischer, J. Koeth, S. Belahsene, Y. Rouillard, L. Worschech, F.K. Tittel, Appl. Phys. B 106, 2, 2012, pp 251-255.

#53 CW DFB RT diode laser-based sensor for trace-gas detection of ethane using a novel compact multipass gas absorption cell;
K. Krzempek, M. Jahjah, R. Lewicki, P. Stefanski, S. So, D. Thomazy, F.K. Tittel, Appl. Phys. B, 112, 4, Sept. 2013, pp. 461-465.

#61 Demonstration of an Ethane Spectrometer for Methane Source Identification;
T.I. Yacovitch, S.C. Herndon, J.R. Roscioli, C. Floerchinger, R.M. McGovern, M. Agnese, G. Petron, J. Kofler, C. Sweeney, A. Karion, S.A. Conley, E.A. Kort, L. Naehle, M. Fischer, L. Hildebrandt,.J. Koeth, J.B. McManus, D.D. Nelson, M.S. Zahniser, C.E. Kolb, Environ. Sci. Technol., 48, 2014, 8028-8034.

#77 Compact TDLAS based sensor design using interband cascade lasers for mid-IR trace gas sensing;
L. Dong, F. K. Tittel, C. Li, N. P. Sanchez, H. Wu, C. Zheng, Y. Yu, A. Sampaolo, R. J. Griffin; Optics Express Vol. 24, Issue 6, 2016, pp. A528-A535.

#82 Ppb-level mid-infrared ethane detection based on three measurement schemes using a 3.34 μm continuous-wave interband cascade laser;
C. Li, C. Zheng, L. Dong, W. Ye, F. K. Tittel, Y. Wang, Appl. Phys. B, July 2016, 122:185.